Crossing The Eilat Aqaba Border into Jordan
Crossing the Eilat Aqaba border
We had anticipated some hassles crossing the Eilat Aqaba border and getting into Jordan. Especially since there is what the Israelis call a “cold peace” between the two countries. As it turned out, we did have hassles but not the kind we expected.
There are several names for this border crossing. On the Israeli side it is called the Yitzhak Rabine border crossing. On the
Jordan side it is called the Wadi Araba border.It is also called the Arava border crossing. You can read any number of reports of Crossing this border. Our experience was that it was incredibly simple.
There is an obvious gravel parking lot right at the edge of the Border. We left our car alongside a few dozen others and walked up to the Border. It is advised not to leave anything obvious in the car, but we had 4 suitcases in our SUV and it was not bothered while we were gone. There is a fee on the Israeli side to exit the country . It is less than 60 Israeli shekels and can be paid with credit card. A few formalities later we were walking the 50 yards in the no man’s land to get to the other side. When we got to the other side the Jordanian system was equally simple.
Simplify If You Can
However, you should realize that we got to the border around 8 which is well before the buses start to arrive. So we were not waiting in line anywhere. If you arrive with the tour buses you should plan on n hour or more. On the Border opens around 6:30. Sunday to Thursday but not until 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Another thing we did to simplify things was to leave most of our luggage in our vehicle ( Yeah yeah yeah I know terrible risk). and took only a backpack each, since we were only going to be in Jordan for 2 nights. However, It wouldn’t be that difficult to pull luggage across on foot.
I should mention it was mid-October , so the heat was minor. 80 degrees and dry, making the stress much less.
You can also read a lot about how difficult it is to get Jordan visas and how you need to get them before you get to the Border. All not true. As of October 2018 you can still get a Visa for free on the spot at the border like we did. If you are staying less than three nights you will pay for the departure fee. We were two nights in Jordan and so when we left we paid only 10 Jordanian dinar which is about 14 US dollars to exit Jordan. If you stay 3 or more nights, it is free. I’m not sure what the importance is, but you do need to get your border documents stamped in Petra when you pay the entrance fee to Petra. I’m just going to assume that anyone going into Jordan from this end is going to go to Petra.
Update_to_the_rules_regarding_visa_at_the_Aqaba_Eilat_border-Jordan.html”>summary of the rules ere is a link to a summary of the rules
this info ONLY applies to the southern Eilat Aqaba border. Other borders may not be as friendly, but you will need to research that. These things do change frequently it seems.
We had heard all sorts of stories about the terrible taxi Mafia at the border. So I was ready to have my guns blazing. Figuratively not literally people. Not sure if it’s because we arrived with just the 5 of us and not in some big group, but there were no hassles whatsoever. The taxi driver we spoke to said it would be 15 JD to go to the hotel where we were to pick up our rental car which was a perfectly reasonable price. It is supposed to be 11 JD to the bus stop in the city center and sometimes they will try to charge you much more to go to other hotels. If you have any problems here just make sure that you know that you absolutely shouldn’t pay more than 20 JD to any area around Aqaba. And don’t let them split you up into multiple taxis unless you have more than 4 people.
We have been jokingly concerned up until now because there really have been almost no significant problems on this trip. That ended today. When I got to the Hotel where we were supposed to get our rental car. The concierge said that Budget Car Rental was out the back to the right and a block or two down. We walk down the street there and could not find it. So we ask directions. And we’re directed back to the front of the hotel and passed it. By this time time we got smart and left three people with the luggage and set off unencumbered. Of course the budget office was not there either. Fortunately a kind gentleman who was Hocking taxi rides didn’t know where it was and for only one JD got us a ride to the actual location. Problem solved right? Wrong. Due to some difficulties with booking the rental car with points, they had managed to cancel our reservation and we had no car. In addition they did not have the vehicle there that we needed anyway. After an hour or two on the phone with the points people I finally just said fine and walked down the streetto Europcar and rented a Mitsubishi Pajero which had four wheel drive that we didn’t need but at that point we just needed to get on the road.
On A Dark Desert Highway
Ok it wasn’t dark. And no Hotel California, But finally, we were on the road North on the desert highway. Yeah, literally it’s called the Desert Highway. However there were far more villages along the way than I would have ever envisioned. The desert is not as empty as one might expect. Once we got actually going, it was only a little over 2 hours to Petra. We wound our way through the crazy narrow streets of the ancient town of Wadi Musa. It has become a buzzing tourist town in the pas 30 years. We managed to find our hotel. More on that in our Petra Post
So that is the information on how to cross the border between Eilat and Aqaba.
Do you know how late the border can be crossed from Eilat into Aqaba on a Friday afternoon? Can it be crossed on a Saturday?
For sure you can cross on Saturday but it is not open until 8 AM. The border is open until 8PM but be careful about time zones at different times of the year.